Learning styles of pharmacy undergraduates: Experience from a Malaysian University


  • Fahad Saleem Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang
  • Mohamed Azmi Hassali Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang
  • Zeehan Shanaz Ibrahim Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang
  • Alian Alrasheedy Qassim University, Qassim
  • Hisham Aljadhey King Saud University, Riyadh


Learning Styles, Malaysia, Malaysian University, Pharmacy Undergraduates


Background: Available evidence suggests that understanding students’ learning style is helpful in providing them a successful learning experience. The aim of the study was to determine learning styles preferences of first year pharmacy students enrolled at School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Methods: A cross-sectional study design was adopted to conduct the study. The Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic – Learning questionnaire was administered to all undergraduates of first year (n=115) enrolled at School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data explanation. SPSS® v.18.0 was used for data analysis. The level of statistical significance was taken to be p<0.05.

Results: Ninety-two students responded to the survey with a response rate of 80.0%. Females (78, 84.8%) dominated the cohort with Malay being the prevailing ethnic group. Visual learning style was the most commonly adopted learning style among the students (n=45, 48.9%) followed by kinaesthetic (n=29, 31.5%) and auditory learning style (n=18, 19.5%). Apart from ethnicity being significantly associated with auditory learning style (p=0.030), the preferred learning styles were statistically independent of the demographic variables examined in the study.

Conclusion: Based on the results, the respondents preferred visual learning whereby they favour using images, pictures, colours, and maps to organise information and communicate with others. Therefore, policy makers and educators should take into consideration, the learning style preferences of undergraduate pharmacy students when planning, implementing and evaluating educational initiatives. 

Author Biographies

Fahad Saleem, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang

Discipline of Social and Administrative Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Mohamed Azmi Hassali, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang

Discipline of Social and Administrative Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Zeehan Shanaz Ibrahim, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang

English Language Section, School of Languages, Literacy and Translation

Alian Alrasheedy, Qassim University, Qassim

Pharmacy Practice Department, College of Pharmacy

Hisham Aljadhey, King Saud University, Riyadh

College of Pharmacy


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Research Article